Poland arrests Huawei exec, 1 other for spying


TV channel TVP said the two individuals were arrested on Tuesday after the Huawei and Orange Polska offices were searched. Orange spokesman Wojciech Jabczynski said the company handed over an employee's belongings to the authorities.

According to an English translation of a Polish news report, Weijing W. studied Polish at the Peking University of Foreign Studies and was hired by Huawei in 2006. "The homes of both men, also in Warsaw, were also searched, according to [Internal Security Agency] spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn".

Citing the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, state broadcaster CCTV said that Beijing is "closely following" the detention of Wang and has asked to arrange a consular visit "as soon as possible".

Orange, a leading telecommunications company in Poland, says it's cooperating with the Polish security services who say a Polish employee at the company and a Chinese manager for tech giant Huawei have been accused of spying on Poland for China.

In December, a Czech cybersecurity agency warned against using the software and hardware of Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, saying they posed a threat to state security.

A conviction could come with a 10-year prison sentence. The company said it abides by applicable laws wherever it operates and expects employees to do the same.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland's Special Services agency, said the operation that resulted in the arrests had been underway for a long time.

The news has deepened global concerns about Huawei, the world's largest telecom equipment manufacturer, which is facing problems amid growing suspicion over its ties to the Chinese government.

Last spring, Huawei surpassed Samsung to become Poland's top smartphone supplier with more than a third of the market, as China.org reported. The arrest is a fresh sign that a USA dispute with China over its ban on the company is spilling over to Europe, Huawei's biggest foreign market.

It has also become involved in the US-China trade dispute after the arrest last month of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

Recently, the Canadian government launched a new security assessment of Huawei's 5G technology a year ago, and at least two large Canadian operators have indicated that they will launch small-scale investigations.

In addition to this, Huawei have come under fire from authorities in Norway, Germany, the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with several countries outright banning the use of their devices or equipment used in 5G mobile networks.

In response, China has arrested a handful of Canadian nationals, apparently forcing a hostage standoff to get Meng back. She has been released on bail, but faces a lengthy legal fight over extradition to the US.